June 2021 Newsletter
A Year of WOW!
Amazing. Challenging. Impressive. Transformative...WOW! These descriptors and many others have been attributed to Reading Power’s historic 2020-2021 program year which concluded on May 21. And what a year it was! We virtually tutored over 110 students and gave them and many others over 2,550 books throughout the year. However, the smiles, personal connections, and literacy triumphs are truly immeasurable.
Big thanks to our staff, tutors, school partners, parents, and students for working collaboratively and resiliently to make our program proceed so impactfully.
Here's a Look at Some End-of-Year Fun...
Author’s Day
Author’s Day 2021 was a great way to wrap up our Reading Power year. First and second grade students shared the books and letters they wrote during Writer’s Workshop with classmates and their tutors. Like most things this year, Author's Day happened over Zoom, but that didn’t lessen the excitement. This student exclaimed, “I’ve never had a medal before!” after being presented with her Author’s Day award.
Prekindergarten Parade
Students and staff at Green Bay Early Childhood Center celebrated prekindergarten graduation with a parade. This year, Reading Power provided over 2,100 books to the students at Green Bay Early Childhood Center. Book ownership is key to early literacy success. Research indicates students who own books are six times more likely to read above grade level.
Want to become a Book Buddy? $15 a month buys a new book for a struggling reader. Consider a recurring donation on our website today!
Summer Ready!
Reading Power ended our school year by gifting each student with a bag full of fun educational activities to beat summertime boredom and keep the learning going!
Reading Power's Family Literacy Night Kicks Off Summer
Smiles were in abundance at Loft 21 in Lincolnshire, IL on May 23rd. Families from North Chicago's Green Bay Early Childhood Center, LEARN 6 and 10 schools, and Boys & Girls Club of Lake County watched the Disney family film “Coco” and enjoyed pizza, music, and giveaways during the socially safe drive-in event. Reading Power thanks our donors who sponsored over 200 guests and all of the volunteers who worked to make the event a success.
Special Thank You to Our Sponsors:

Judy’s Pizza Highland Park

Domino’s Pizza Wheeling, Buffalo Grove, Long Grove, and Mundelein

The Jelly Belly Candy Company

Follett Books and their Chairman and Reading Power board member Todd Litzsinger and for donating the “Coco” book. Each family that attended received a copy.
Never Stop Learning - Summer Programming Begins June 22nd
Reading Power has tripled the size of our summer programming this year. Thanks to 58 specially trained volunteers under the guidance of educational professionals, literacy growth will continue over the summer for many of our students.
Tutor Survey: We Want to Hear From You!

If you were a tutor during the 2020-2021 school year and have not already responded, please fill out this short survey HERE.
 
Not a tutor yet? Click HERE to learn more!
Shop with a Purpose - Time is Running Out!
No matter where you shop, you can help us foster the promise of literacy by making the most of these incredible opportunities before they end.
Target

Visit Target Circle to learn how you can help direct Target’s giving to benefit Reading Power and the communities we serve. Every vote counts and will help us get the maximum donation possible from Target.
Market Station Pop-Up

Stop by the Lake Forest Station pop-up shop on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11 AM – 5 PM through Saturday, June 19. Come shop for unique gifts from many Lake Forest nonprofits, including Reading Power!
New Board Member Announcement
Suzanne Surkamer Dobbins, BS

The Reading Power Board is excited to welcome Suzanne Surkamer Dobbins. Suzanne began tutoring with Reading Power in 2011 and joined the Board of Directors in 2021. A former educator specializing in kindergarten – third grade learning, Suzie taught in both the Houston, Texas Independent School District and Lake Bluff School District 65. After raising her sons in the Lake Bluff community, Suzie became a Real Estate Agent with Griffith Grant and Lackie for eight years before joining her husband's architecture firm, The Dobbins Group, in Chicago for another 10 years. She earned her undergraduate degree in Education with a minor in Early Childhood Education from Drake University.  
"Nothing is more rewarding than watching a child turn pages and have a story be told. Either through words or just the pictures." Suzie Dobbins  
Upcoming Events
Our inaugural Play for Literacy Golf & Games event is coming, September 13, 2021.
 
Enjoy a round of golf at Lake Forest's revered Onwentsia Club or take advantage of Canasta fever sweeping the country. Card players will enjoy a round-robin of competitive and fun Canasta play with professional instructors leading the way. 
 
At the end of play, golfers and canasta players will join together for cocktails, awards, and a light dinner on the club terrace.  


Our Mission

Working in partnership with underserved schools, 
Reading Power provides one-to-one tutoring during the school day 
for children in prekindergarten through second grade.  

Our mission is to accelerate children's literacy learning, 
and to develop in them a love of reading and writing. 
All children deserve to reach their intellectual potential.

Reading Power Board of Directors
Kathy McFarland, PhD, Chairman, CEO
Marra Lochiatto, MBA, Vice Chair
Kathleen Cowie, Secretary
Jim Young, MBA, Treasurer
Ann Bates, EdD
John Davidson 
Rob Davis, JD, MBA 
Suzanne Surkamer Dobbins
Mary Jane Hender, EdD
Todd Litzsinger
Rahul Malhotra, MBA
Melinda Mooney
Jacalyn Ramdin-Johnson, MBA
Beverly Raudabaugh, MBA
Frank Sibley
Arthur Turner
Mary Weber, MA
Tom Wood
Rev. Dr. Gordon Butcher, DMin, Emeritus
Reading Power Program Staff
Lisa Bulzoni, MEd, Director of Programs
Kate Burke, BS, Marketing and Communications Manager
Daniela Cruz, Program Assistant
Nancy Duffy, Resource Development Manager
Joanie Alley, MSEd, Assistant Site Coordinator
Katie Burdiak, BA, Assistant Site Coordinator
Julie Collishaw, MA, Site Coordinator
Kristin Fine, MEd, Associate Director of Programs & Site Coordinator
Andrea Glickman, MAEd, Site Coordinator
Marla Guziec, BS, Site Coordinator
Mary Jane Hender, EdD, Site Coordinator
Joy McGreevy, BA, Site Coordinator
Cathy Plate, MSEd, Assistant Site Coordinator
Kay Roller, MSEd, Site Coordinator
Marion Schmidt, BS, Site Coordinator
Karen Uihlein, MA, Assistant Site Coordinator
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Learn more at READINGPOWERINC.ORG